Improving Student Reading Comprehension and Writing Skills in Spanish

 How do I Improve my Students’ Reading Fluency and Writing Skills in Spanish? 

In this blog post, I’ll be talking about how I set my students up for success and growth, with how I set up my classroom using Word Walls

My word-walls have continued to grow over the years, and I love seeing student growth happen as a result of them.

Conjunctions and Prepositions, Storytelling phrases, Vocabulary to Narrate a Story, Academic Writing Phrases

Having taught Exploratory-level Spanish through Spanish 4 at the middle and high school level since 2016, I have incorporated comprehensible-input style curriculum alongside traditional grammar instruction. 

With comprehensible-input, there’s a lot of opportunities for students to write short-stories, summarize, as well as read novels!

Whenever we read a novel in class, I try to incorporate many reading comprehension activities, as well as push students to write more and more lengthy compositions as they go up the levels. 

However, as we all know with technology, students can simply google translate anything, yet they learn nothing from that!

Even with my few sets of Spanish to English dictionaries, students don’t use them properly! 

(Example: A student wanted to say the character loves someone, so they looked up “love” in the dictionary, saw “amor” and assumed that’s it! - they don’t look at the context to see that it's not the verb “to love” that they wanted!)

Therefore, I’ve become a non-tech classroom when it comes to writing. Students can use all the posters in the room for reference, and ask me if they want to say something that’s not on the posters. 

These Spanish to English posters cover:

  • Conjunctions and Prepositions (with, of/from/about, that/than)

  • Storytelling phrases (at the beginning, in the end, then)

  • Vocabulary to Narrate a Story (first, finally, later)

  • Academic Writing Phrases (according to, because of, for example)

  • Interrogatives (Who, What, Where, How do you say?)

Conjunctions and Prepositions, Storytelling phrases, Vocabulary to Narrate a Story, Academic Writing Phrases, and Interrogatives Posters

How do these Word Walls Improve Students’ Writing Skills?

  1. Students in high school are used to writing more advanced sentences in English, and often want to try to write at that same level in Spanish. These posters help them incorporate filler words, transitional words, and conjunctions to make compound sentences. 

  2. Students are never solely tested on these words, but because of year-long exposure, they start to learn them!

    1. Unless the point of my tests are on specific phrases on the word walls, I don’t cover them up during writing prompts. 

    2. However, I have covered up parts of the posters for certain tests, and students still use the phrases from the word wall posters, so I know the posters have worked! 

  3. With 88 phrases for them to reference, it empowers students to communicate their thoughts clearly and with details! 

Conjunctions and Prepositions, Storytelling phrases, Vocabulary to Narrate a Story, Academic Writing Phrases

How do these Word Walls Improve Students’ Reading Comprehension Abilities?

  1. Through novels & short readings via my daily Google Slides, my students are exposed to many reading opportunities. Since novels are often written in 3rd person, students are exposed to many “narrating” and “storytelling” phrases. My posters help them understand the context of what they’re reading, without them having to google translate, or be unclear about what they’re reading. 

  2. Oftentimes, reading comprehension activities use “Question Words”. By regularly being exposed to these question words, and using the posters for reference, students slowly acquire these words through input, rather than just trying to “hurry up and memorize the interrogatives”. 

Overall, the word walls in my classroom serve as a powerful tool for students, as well as myself, teaching! I constantly point to them when I’m teaching - it saves me from being a broken record when students ask, “Señora, how do you say…?”.  

These word walls facilitate language acquisition by allowing students to answer higher-order comprehension questions, as well as answer thoughtfully and with details. 

Unlock the potential of your students’ language skills by checking out these posters for your own classroom!

 34 Spanish to English Reading Comprehension & Interrogative Posters BUNDLE

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